AN­OTHER DEAD­LINE DUD

Danny Pi­card weighs in on the Celtics.

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - DANNY PI­CARD @ dan­nypi­card

The Celtics were ei­ther go­ing to be buy­ers or do noth­ing be­fore Thurs­day’s NBA trade dead­line. As it turns out, they did noth­ing be­fore 3 p.m. ET, mean­ing they’ll keep all their picks and leave the ros­ter in­tact through the end of the sea­son.

While I’m not thrilled, I’m also not about to jump on my soap­box and call for Danny Ainge’s head. An ini­tial re­ac­tion of dis­ap­point­ment is nor­mal, con­sid­er­ing all the big names that have been thrown around in trade ru­mors the last few weeks. That type of post-dead­line emo­tion would also be the prod­uct of know­ing how good this cur­rent group of Celtics have played, and the amount of as­sets that the or­ga­ni­za­tion cur­rently has. Whether it be play­ers whose trade value will never be higher, or more draft picks than he knows what to do with, Ainge could have gone crazy on Thurs­day if he re­ally wanted to. And I was all about do­ing some­thing crazy. But it had to be a “good crazy.”

No­body’s hap­pier than me that Ainge didn’t trade the 2016 Nets first-round draft pick in a three-team deal that would have landed Kevin Love. Like Love, I also didn’t un­der­stand why Blake Grif­fin’s name was a pop­u­lar trade topic. See­ing con­tend­ing teams like the Cava­liers and Clip­pers think about trad­ing play­ers like Love and Grif­fin tells me more about those play­ers than any­thing else. Wouldn’t you want to add some­thing at the dead­line to build around those guys and try to win now?

My idea of “good crazy” would have been send­ing a king’s ran­som to the Kings for DeMar­cus Cousins, or con­vinc­ing the Rock­ets that they’d get a much bet­ter re­turn if James Har­den was made avail­able in­stead of Dwight Howard. Speak­ing of Howard, I’m smil­ing just think­ing about the fact that he won’t be com­ing to Bos­ton. But I do feel there was a three-team deal to be made with the Rock­ets and Hawks, in­volv­ing Al Hor­ford.

I was never giv­ing up the Brook­lyn pick for Hor­ford, but here’s a trade for you: Hous­ton re­ceives David Lee, Ti­ago Split­ter, Jared Sullinger, and the Celtics’ 2016 first-round pick; At­lanta re­ceives Dwight Howard and the Mav­er­icks’ 2016 first-round pick (via Celtics); and Bos­ton re­ceives Hor­ford. The money works. It sat­is­fies ev­ery team’s needs and rea­son­able de­mands un­der its re­spec­tive cir­cum­stances. Why couldn’t some­thing like this have gone down on Thurs­day?

Re­gard­less, the Celtics are in a good spot right now. There’s still time to move some of their as­sets and be­come buy­ers this sum­mer. So for that rea­son, I can’t call for Ainge’s head. But don’t blame me for be­ing dis­ap­pointed.

The Celtics’ long-term fo­cus now shifts to the 2016 NBA Draft, where LSU’s Ben Sim­mons is ex­pected to go No. 1 over­all. GETTY IM­AGES

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